Flanders ends Dual Bequest Route

Yesterday the Flemish parliament introduced a tax break for “bequests to friends” and for bequests to charities. These are just the sweeteners to close the dual bequest route. The route is closed to people living in Flanders, people living in Brussels or Wallonia can still use the dual bequest. Dual bequests A dual bequest allows the testator to engage in philanthropy while reducing the inheritance …

EU Officials after Brexit

It is official now. The UK is not part of the EU anymore. Many people struggle with the new rules that govern how the UK and EU will live, work and trade together. Brexit will also affect many Brits living and working in Belguim, including EU officials, British EU officials living and working in the EU, (non-British) EU officials living and working in the UK, …

France Upholds Broad Interpretation of Permanent Establishment

In a recent landmark decision, the French Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that a French company can qualify as a dependent agent, and as such be the permanent establishment of an Irish affiliated company, if it habitually exercises the authority to conclude contracts in the name of that company, even though formal consent to these contracts can only be given by the Irish affiliate. (Conseil …

Have Stocks, Must Pay Taxes

If you invest on the stock market, and buy Apple, AB Inbev or Microsoft shares, you must not forget the taxman.
When you buy shares, you pay tax. When you receive dividends or when you sell shares, you pay tax. You pay tax just for holding stocks.

The US ends corporate anonymity

Shell companies that conceal the identity of a company’s true owners facilitate crime and corruption. Most countries have put an end to such anonymity. The U.S.A. has finally followed suit by adopting the Corporate Transparency Act that obliges the true beneficiaries to disclose their identity.

The final decision on the double taxation of French Dividends?

The Belgian Supreme Court has – for the second time – confirmed that the double taxation treaty between Belgium and France, Belgium must give a tax credit for the French withholding tax on French dividends against the Belgian withholding tax. The Belgian tax authorities cannot hide behind the text of the Belgian tax code to deny Belgian taxpayers the benefit of the Belgium-France tax treaty. …

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New Tax Rules for Overseas Properties

The European Court of Justice has ordered Belgium to change its rules on the taxation of overseas properties and to pay a penalty of €2 million and a daily payment of €7,500 (for prior coverage see here). Discrimination of owners of overseas properties. In the case of real property in Belgium, whether that is a second residence or a buy-to-let, the tax is calculated on …

Brexit and Belgian Pensions

retirees

If you live in the UK and you receive a pension from the Service Fédéral des Pensions, you may have received a letter to say from 1 January 2021 the rules concerning social and tax deductions to be deducted from Belgium pensions will change for people living in the United Kingdom. This is correct, until the end of the year, the UK is part of …

Gift tax and the ‘cheese route’

Belgians have suddenly discovered that there is a “cheese route” and that it has been closed today A “cheese route”? The “kaasroute” as even French speakers call it is a cheesy joke. It is supposed to be the road to the Netherlands where Belgians can make gifts of cash, shares or bonds before a notary free of gift tax and, therefore, inheritance tax. Since 15 …

Webinar ‘Expat Financial Affairs’, Q&A

On 10 December, we made two presentations on wills and estate planning at the annual Expat Financial Affairs event of the British Chamber. Here are some of the questions and our answers. Real estate acquired before marriage is personal or communal property? Under the Belgian default matrimonial property rules, spouses have community property from the day they get married.  Everything spouses acquire during their marriage is community …